Some people might find this hard to believe but I am quite a worrier. Sometimes I think it is something that has come on later in life but then I remember being the only kid who worried about playing defence during phys ed at school. So, in reality, I have probably always done it. And, to make matters worse, now that they seem to have linked stress and anxiety to poor health and a shorter life span I worry about worrying! 🙂
So, in response to this, over the years I have picked up some strategies to deal with it. Word of warning…they are all a little weird. 🙂 I have one where I imagine that my mind is a block of flats and the worrying or negative thought is an unwanted guest that need to be evicted. You need to actually talk it through by telling the thought it’s not welcome and has to move on etc. etc., (try not to do this out loud 🙂 ) but it works pretty well for me.
Another one is my worst case scenario method. With this one I just imagine the worst thing that could realistically happen in a situation and whether I could deal with that. If the answer is yes, and it has been just about every time, then there is no need for worry. Again, this is pretty effective for me. And if the worse case scenario is something I can’t deal with, then my worry is a justifiable reaction and a spur to action.
The third main one I use is targeted at those thoughts that just keep running around your head, especially at night. If I think that I am going to spend a night mulling over something I try to be pre-emptive and schedule in some official ‘worrying’ time for the next day. Weird huh!:-) I even go to the extent of putting it into my diary or work schedule. I think this lets my mind let go of whatever I am thinking about because it has been re-assured that the issue will be dealt with. Funnily enough this one is pretty effective as well. Oh and, because things always seem to look better in the light of day, I have never actually had to use the ‘worrying’ time. 🙂
And the other day I found a new one I might give a go at some point. Apparently what you need to do is write down what is worrying you on a piece of paper and seal it in an envelope. It is important to seal it because some new research has shown that ‘the metaphorical act of enclosing and sealing influences the memory, in the sense that the recollection of the emotional details of an event becomes weaker.’ And that it ‘will help bring you psychological closure and help you cope more effectively with your stress at work’
I’m going to give it a try next time I am worried or having negative thoughts about something. I’m just worried it won’t work. Aahh, geez I crack myself up sometimes! 🙂